I just got a nice “Merry Christmas” this morning
From someone who calls me his “atheist friend”;
He jokingly added, as if for a warning,
His greeting was truly not meant to offend.
He assumed that an atheist hated this season,
Or else he was joking, or just didn’t see;
He was wrong, though, that’s certain, whatever his reason–
Cos Christmas is really quite special to me:
We’ll all open presents, and cook a big dinner,
And share in traditions we learned long ago
But Christmas is different for this humble sinner,
No “birth of the saviour”, just people we know.
It has nothing to do with a babe in a manger
Or kings being led by a star up above,
But rather in family, friend, and in stranger,
In kindnesses done for the people we love.
A spirit of hope, and a spirit of giving,
A promise of peace in a troubling day,
A chance to examine the way we are living–
The courage to say what we’ve wanted to say.
You don’t need to think there’s a god up above you
To want to be good to your fellows on Earth.
To give to your friends, and to tell them “I love you”
Has nothing to do with some son of god’s birth.
For love, and for giving, we say “tis the season”
For caring, for kindness, for sharing good cheer
But why limit ourselves? I mean, what is the reason?
Why can’t we be giving the rest of the year?
This Christmas, my wish for each sister and brother,
To you, and to everyone you may hold dear;
Remember, this Christmas, to love one another—
Not only this season, but all through the year!
I’ll happily send him my own Christmas greeting,
And wish him a good one, and Happy New Year,
And hope he remembers, so next time we’re meeting
He’ll talk as he wants to, with nothing to fear.